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This tin toy is a Mattel Carnival Hurdy Gurdy -- it's bright and fun! It has a 1953 date on the back, and you'd know that without looking, thanks to the bright mid century design on the sides of the box.

Amusingly, this hurdy gurdy still plays music, and the song is the Mexican ranchero song "Celito Lindo" -- the one with the refrain "ai-yi-yi-yi." (Probably what the moms were saying when their kids were banging around the house with tin toys like this one.)

This particular toy did get its share of use, and the plastic strap that is supposed to hang around the kiddie's neck is not attached on one side. There is a hole in the bottom of the hurdy gurdy and a stick was supposed to fit in there, so the unit could be carried around like that, but the stick has gone missing. And I'd guess a young owner in the past used the stick to bang around on the top and sides of the hurdy gurdy, as there are nicks and wear, especially in one spot on the top. (See photos.) There used to be a wooden knob on the crank, but it is gone, and there is wear in a half-circle on the crank side of the box. Finally, the piece is a bit dented on the right-hand side of the lower front, but it isn't very apparent.

Imperfections from use aside, this is still a bright, colorful, fun and uncommon mid century piece, and it still works! It would be a great display piece for anyone who loves color and mid century style.

Tin Carnival Hurdy Gurdy musical toy - Mattel - 1953 - Mid Century design


Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 756 reviews
  • Favorited by: 40 people